Metallica reached the midpoint of their The Late Late Show residency Wednesday night by delivering their fan favorite “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” For the performance, each band member gets to showcase their technical prowess on this precise but raucous rendition of the Ride the Lightning classic.
Metallica scheduled a week’s worth of 1:30 a.m. performances to help send off Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, who’ll leave the long-running program on December 19th. British actor-comedian James Corden will then take over.
“What better way to celebrate Craig’s awesome tenure at CBS than to come and shake the rafters for a whole week,” drummer Lars Ulrich told Rolling Stone. “Nothing to sell, nothing to promote (except a reissue DVD)…purely hanging at Craig’s personal request. Bring it!” The band’s 10th anniversary Blu-ray edition of Some Kind of Monster is out November 24th.
Earlier this year, Rolling Stone spoke to Metallica’s Ulrich and Kirk Hammett about Ride the Lightning, which was released 30 years ago in 1984. “Obviously it holds up very well. There’s kind of a youthful energy that runs through the record,” Ulrich said. “A good portion of these songs are still staples of our live set. And between ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ ‘Creeping Death,’ ‘Fade to Black,’ and ‘Ride the Lightning,’ that’s not a bad batting average.”
Hammett added, “At one point I thought Mercyful Fate were the heaviest heavy-metal band out there. I remember we played them a few of our songs on Ride the Lightning and Michael Denner, their guitar player, came up to me afterwards and said, ‘After listening to ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ I thought Mercyful Fate was the heaviest band in the land, but I think now Metallica is the heaviest band in the land.’ And I looked at him kind of shocked.”